Dear Family, Friends, Acquaintances, and Strangers,
As many of you know, I have been living in Thailand for the past year working as a kindergarten teacher in the northeastern province of Isaan in a city called Ubon Ratchathani. It’s been an amazing, challenging, and incredibly eye-opening experience, one which I was certain would end once my year-long contract was up. However, an opportunity has presented itself in the form of a volunteer placement in Ambalangoda, Sri Lanka at the Turtle Conservation Project located there.
To give you an idea of what this entails, I would be working with injured and sick turtles, raising awareness for environmental stewardship, cleaning the beach, releasing baby turtles into the sea, and working alongside a local team to “...help protect critically endangered sea turtles from extinction.” I would also have the chance to teach English to the local community, including Buddhist monks. This is all organized through International Volunteer Headquarters, a global volunteer program based in New Zealand which seeks to provide aid and assistance to developing countries in the areas of greatest need. I have included links at the bottom of the page directing you to both the “About Us” and “Sri Lanka Volunteer” sections of their website. For more details, please feel free to check there!
WHY SHOULD YOU DONATE?
While I agree that fresh seafood is amazing, the practices used to obtain it are not, and they adversely affect marine habitats. Unfortunately, sea turtles are at the top of the list in terms of creatures endangered by commercial fishing, habitat loss, climate change, and illegal trade throughout international waters. While your livelihood may not depend on sea turtles, many sea-faring cultures around the world do depend on them. All parts of an ecosystem are significant and necessary, and losing even one part of that chain allows all other parts to follow over time.
Many of the beautiful beaches you have seen or traveled too depend on sea turtles to maintain their beauty and prevent erosion. For example, Naples in Florida is home to a large portion of loggerhead sea turtles. If these creatures were to disappear, sand dunes would erode and swaying beach grasses would be depleted from a lack of nutrients derived from sea turtle shells, hatchlings, and nests left after the nesting season. I am in no way asking you to stop eating seafood, I certainly haven’t, or even to become a diehard environmentalist; I am simply asking you to consider donating to the cause so that I can go and try to make a difference in protecting our beautiful oceans and all those that live in and around them.
Personally, I have fond memories of playing amongst the dunes down on the Cape and in Florida as a child. This world has so much to offer, and yet it is so fragile. We truly hold it in the palm of our hands, and it is our job, at least in part, to help preserve it.
HOW TO DONATE
- PayPal Account
- Check (Mailed to given address)
- Cash Donation (Given to my parents for safekeeping until I return from Thailand)
As Chief Seattle once said so profoundly, “We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.” Think about where you would like to take your children and grandchildren someday, where you want them to go on their own. Please help me in raising awareness about marine habitats and in protecting these peaceful, docile creatures. Your donation will not only go towards conserving these mammals